Statement of Ethics

  1. Mission
    Death with Dignity National Center was founded in 1993 to provide information, education, research and support for the preservation, implementation and promotion of Death with Dignity laws which allow a terminally ill, mentally competent adult the right to request and receive a prescription to hasten death under certain specific safeguards. We promote Death with Dignity laws based on Oregon’s model legislation, as a stimulus to nationwide improvements in end-of-life care and as an option for dying individuals. We accomplish our mission by working to defend and promote Death with Dignity laws in court and in the court of public opinion through our nonprofit Death with Dignity National Center [501(c)(3)], and by working directly with public policymakers through our affiliated Political Action Fund [501(c)(4)]. This mission underpins all of our organization's programs, and those who work on behalf of Death with Dignity National Center are committed to this mission.
  2. Personal and Professional Integrity
    Death with Dignity National Center staff, affiliated consultants, and board members act with honesty and openness as representatives of the organization. Death with Dignity National Center promotes a working environment that values respect, candor, and fairness.
  3. Governance
    Death with Dignity National Center board of directors operates in partnership with our Executive Director to set the strategic direction for the organization, as well as to oversee finances, operations, and policies. The board regularly reviews the business plans, activity reports, financial statements, and policies of the organization to ensure alignment with its mission and goals, as well as compliance with nonprofit legal and accounting standards. Death with Dignity National Center operates under a number of key policies, including but not limited to the following: fiduciary duty and conflict of interest, investment policy, fraud, and whistleblower.
  4. Legal Compliance
    Death with Dignity National Center and its professional advisors are knowledgeable of and comply with all relevant laws and regulations.
  5. Responsible Stewardship
    Death with Dignity National Center prudently manages its funds, whether they are contributed revenue, earned income, or investment income. The organization spends a reasonable percentage of its annual budget on programs in pursuance of its mission and on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, fundraising, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management and organizational sustainability. Death with Dignity National Center does not accumulate excessive operating funds and maintains a responsible level of reserves to enable the continuous operation of our organization.
  6. Openness and Disclosure
    Death with Dignity National Center provides comprehensive, timely information to the public, media, donors, and other stakeholders; and is responsive to all reasonable requests for information. All public information about our organization fully and honestly reflects our policies and practices. Essential financial information about Death with Dignity National Center such as the IRS Form 990, are posted on our website.
  7. Program Evaluation
    Death with Dignity National Center regularly reviews program effectiveness and employs mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future programs and business planning processes. The organization is committed to improving effectiveness and efficiency for the benefit of our members, clients, customers, and the sector overall.
  8. Inclusiveness and Diversity
    Death with Dignity National Center maintains a spirit and practice of inclusiveness, and seeks staff, board members, and affiliated consultants who enrich our programmatic effectiveness through a diversity of experience, skills, cultures, and backgrounds. Our organization has a policy of equal opportunity for our staff and board, and does not discriminate in hiring, retention, promotion, board recruitment, partnerships, and communities served.
  9. Fundraising
    Death with Dignity National Center is truthful and forthright in its fundraising communications, respects the privacy rights of donors, and expends funds in a manner consistent with donor intent. Our organization appropriately acknowledges and recognizes donors for contributions received, and all solicitation materials accurately represent the organization's mission, objectives, and activities, as do related financial, organizational, and program reports.

Approved by the Boards of Directors of the Death with Dignity National Center and the Death with Dignity Political Action Fund, March 16, 2010.

Defend dignity. Take action.

You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, nonprofit organization, has been the leading advocate in the Death with Dignity movement. Individual contributions helped us pass new Death with Dignity laws in Washington and Vermont, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the Death with Dignity movement.

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